God Consciousness OR The Step You Are On Today
I have been listening to Joe and Charlie’s Big Book Study while driving in my car lately. (I found it on my Podcast App for those of you who have the ability to do that sort of thing.) We have 12 Steps that help us navigate closer to a God of our understanding. My concept of God tends to be a Higher Power outside of myself. Maybe some of that has to do with organized religion, Im not sure, but that doesnt really matter other than to provide you with a little background on how I think. Maybe it is because so many of us go to church to pray …
I was reminded while listening to Joe and Charlie that the solution to my alcoholism lies within me, for the simple fact that my God dwells within me. The solution to my drinking problem is inside me, and I have been carrying it around all this time! It is my job to get all of the stuff cleared away so that I may realize that the power is there. I blocked myself from the Sunlight of the Spirit with my character defects, fears, booze, etc., and the work of the 12 Steps enabled me to clean house so that God’s light could shine from within.
Slowly I found a sort of God consciousness. An awareness of a Power greater than myself that was steering my course … I tested my Higher Power plenty during the journey of these sober years. I have been blessed to have lived. After all, I like to drive the bus, be in charge, organize, categorize, control etc. But in the end, I have found that depletes my energy, and it really is easier to let life unfold and trust that my Higher Power has the best plan, route, etc. I began my day by looking at myself in the mirror and saying the 3rd Step Prayer in the mirror to myself and to salute the God within. It’s getting easier day by day. Sometimes it is hard to look myself in the eye, but I do it anyway.
If God dwells within each of us, you and I have all the knowledge and all the power to handle anything that might come up in the future provided we know how to tap into that knowledge and power. I have gotten to this place in my relationship with my Higher Power through prayer and meditation; talking to God and listening. The last 3 Steps are the ones that I use on a daily basis now. They have become habit, sort of like brushing my teeth or bathing. It is a spiritual cleanse for me on a daily basis. I have had to practice this stuff, ladies. It is easier to know intuitively how to handle situations now. That has been one of the benefits. Learning to trust myself too … all of this change in me has come about by trial and error. Lots of error, ladies, that is how I learn best. So, you gals taught me that making mistakes is part of learning how to GROW.
One of the fundamental ideas that I hung on to is that this spiritual growth stuff is a process. I like the passage about being rocketed into the 4th Dimension (page 25 of the BB), but it is not something that happens over night for most of us. (It did not for me anyway.) My spiritual growth has been of the educational variety, and like the tortoise, a slow and mostly steady race, if one can even consider it a race. I suppose in the beginning, I was in a bit of a hurry to grasp enough of the AA tenants or teachings so that I would not drink again, but over time I just kept coming back and listening to the best of my ability.
At about 10 years sober while reworking the Steps, I had a rocket ride with my Higher Power. There is no end to how far we can GROW in sobriety. I continue to evolve, change and grow. Sometimes it is painful, and that’s OK too. The answers to all of my problems today are right inside of me! Who would have thought? I am so used to looking elsewhere for answers.
As a child I would cheat on tests sometimes and glance at your paper … I would pick up a book and try and find the answer too! But what I am trying to share is that I spent much of my life looking for my answers on the outside, and it was a pleasant and sometimes painful experience to find them on the inside of Alison! I love this program and how it works. I learned some years back in an AA meeting that every answer I need lies in the actual seeking for it. The process of seeking my Higher Power’s Will regarding any given person, place, or thing will ALWAYS give me my answer. (Note: I may not always like the answer or solution, but I do receive it 100% of the time if I engage with a God of my understanding.)
There are plenty of tools to help me look inside of myself. The work of the 12 Steps are a transformative process and in the end I find myself wearing a new pair of glasses, and the world and those in it look very different to me now. Suffice it to say, Life is beautiful even when it is a load of lemons.
As many of you gals are new and not yet working Step 11, I ask you to share on what Step you are working on today.